First Southport Spit Masterplan Workshop Gets Underway

First Southport Spit Masterplan Workshop Gets Underway

Queensland Minister for Planning Cameron Dick

First Southport Spit Masterplan Workshop Kicks Off

Victor P Taffa

Community members and key stakeholders have taken the first steps towards shaping the future of the Southport Spit.

Over 50 community members and key stakeholders from across the Gold Coast and broader South East Queensland are meeting this weekend to kick off a series of workshops at the Seaworld Conference Centre to discuss their preferred vision for the future of The Spit.

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning, Cameron Dick said the two-day workshop was shaping up to be a great success and would help to reveal key themes, community values, desired attributes and future ideas for an iconic part of Queensland.

Attendees will share their views on a range of topics about The Spit to help develop a shared vision for this part of the Gold Coast.

Minister Dick said the consultation workshop was an opportunity for those with a keen interest in the long-term future of The Spit to influence the final masterplan outcome.

“I’m really excited to see what comes out of these two days of planning and discussions, and I am grateful for the time people have dedicated to attend, it shows a great sense of community spirit and pride.” Minister Dick said.

“It’s clear through the enthusiasm of the attendees that these people are best placed to contribute to forming a vision for the future for The Spit.”

Gold Coast Acting Mayor, Councillor Donna Gates said Gold Coasters placed strong value on the Spit and its future conservation.

“Area needs a masterplan and has needed one for decades. Given it is State land, I welcome these workshops and am keen to ensure they result in action.” Acting Mayor Gates said.

“Idea of a central park has been proposed and I know Council, through its recycled water scheme, is willing to provide quality recycled water to allow the entire Spit to be kept green for everyone to enjoy.”

“My strong desire is to ensure there are firm actions at the end of this lengthy community consultation and that the result is what the community wants.”

Gold Coast Waterways Authority board chair Mara Bun said that waterways are complex environments requiring responsible management and nowhere is this clearer than on The Spit.

“One of my Board’s highest priorities is to place a greater focus on sustainable, integrated waterways management.” Ms. Bun said.

“Spit Master Plan is therefore about planning for the waterways as well as the land and it’s important that we recognise the economic opportunities for all residents and visitors whilst sustaining environmental values well into the future.”

First day of the consultation event includes addresses from key representatives, site inspections and a presentation of the findings from the recent ‘pop-up’ consultation period.

Attendees will consider the findings of the recent consultation period, along with technical advice from planners and specialists, in their planning for the future of The Spit.

Workshop participants will return on Sunday 29 April, to continue the visioning exercise.

“This workshop wasn’t the first step in hearing what the Gold Coast community wanted for the Spit.” Minister Dick said.

“During the initial consultation period in February and March, we received more than 2,800 pieces of community feedback through a range of activities including pop up sessions and an online survey.”

17 pop up sessions were held throughout February and March at key locations across the Gold Coast.

Over the 2 month period, more than 880 community members attended sessions to provide their input and ask questions.

“Having community members have their say at the pop up sessions or via the online survey has been a vital step in the master planning process.” Minister Dick said.

“Feedback provided has helped us understand the community’s appreciation of current conditions, opportunities and challenges and, importantly, aspirations for the future of The Spit.

Members of the public were able to nominate to participate via the project website. From these nominations, 30 residents were selected to participate in the workshops.

Remaining workshops will be held over three weekends in mid-July, late November and in early 2019.